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Monkeys head/brain transplanted to another monkeys body.
April 6, 2001 10:49 AM   Subscribe

Monkeys head/brain transplanted to another monkeys body. Yeah, some poeple think it's unethical, but I think it's cool. At least in fantasy. Imagine the horror stories if they tried it on humans......
posted by SexyParapalegic (17 comments total)

 
As the guy pointed out, there was no transplant, he just connected the brain and blood for the monkey to live for just a bit. Seems really horrible to me, waste a perfectly good living animal.
posted by tiaka at 10:59 AM on April 6, 2001


It may only have been a partial transplant, tiaka, but that was the first step to bigger things. The Wright Brothers first flight certainly didn't cross the Atlantic, but without it, or something like it, we'd all be on the Titanic right now.

"Oh, but think of the poor monkeys!"

And then 50 years from now, when everyone is dying of all the same old shit we die from today, we can at least look back on all the miraculous cures we *could* have had, and think, "Well, at least we didn't harm any monkeys." I'm all for minimizing cruelty to animals, but there's a line that needs to be drawn. I'd rather a monkey die than I did, or you did, or your mother did. Stop breathing my pet cats' air!
posted by jammer at 11:11 AM on April 6, 2001


Only in Ohio.

It seems like the proper nomenclature should be "body transplant" - and in fact that's what the guy said - don't you agree?

I think this is great, really. I don't think this is a waste of a living animal in any capacity - there's so much to learn, and if it's at the expense of a few animals - it's rough - but it's a small price to pay, I think.

As a side note - I think Open University not only has a cool name - but it's a neat idea. Anyone heard of this before?
posted by SilentSalamander at 11:12 AM on April 6, 2001


what scares me about this article is the fact that the scientist(s) are already thinking about doing this with humans, when they still haven't figured the monkey out.

and you're right, don't waste a monkey, do it on cats....
posted by SexyParapalegic at 11:13 AM on April 6, 2001


As an undergrad, I worked in a neurobiology lab. Given the complexity of neurons, connecting the neurons back up so that the body worked properly would seem to me to be a logistical nightmare. As it turns out, Robert White, the neurosurgeon behind this, agrees. Here's a feature article that he wrote for Scientific American a couple years ago. The new head isn't able to control the body; basically, the body is just an organic life support system.
posted by iceberg273 at 11:15 AM on April 6, 2001


An interview with Robert White from New Scientist. Apparently, White's been doing this for a while. There's a Salon article, too.

I wonder if we could transplant the headers of one of these articles onto another?
posted by iceberg273 at 11:22 AM on April 6, 2001


My main worry is that once this moster comes to life, he and others like him will all vote Republican.
posted by Postroad at 11:24 AM on April 6, 2001


All you need to do this operation is one of those metal spaghetti colanders, like Dr. McCoy. He reattached Spock's brain pretty damn well, and that was 1968, for cryin' out loud.
posted by briank at 11:25 AM on April 6, 2001


pshaw! this ain't nothing. robots exchange heads and bodies all the time. just another reason why ROBOT beats monkey any way you look at it.
posted by cheesebot at 11:34 AM on April 6, 2001


The scientist behind it wants to do the same thing to humans, but other members of the scientific community have condemned the experiments as "grotesque".

This guy reminds me of Herbert West: Reanimator...
posted by Neb at 11:40 AM on April 6, 2001


He reattached Spock's brain pretty damn well, and that was 1968, for cryin' out loud.

Relive the experience.

That has got to be my favorite episode ever (my being a cognitive scientist and all).

Dr. McCoy: We just want to talk to somebody about Spock’s brain. That’s all.
Kara: Brain and brain! What is brain? It is controller, is it not?


Pure philosphical genius.
posted by iceberg273 at 11:48 AM on April 6, 2001


What I *really* want to see is a transplant of a monkey head on a human body, or vice versa. Now *that's* science!
posted by fusinski at 1:28 PM on April 6, 2001


Actually, this guy reminded me more of the scientist on South Park. Just what we need... monkeys with more ____.

Do you want to be Zaphod Beeblebrox or just look like him?

"Hey. Nice head. What's it do?!"

If the interface doesn't work, you might as well throw out the hardware.

One thing I'm very curious about -- did they manage to do the transplant without brain damage setting in? That would be a neat trick...
posted by markkraft at 3:13 PM on April 6, 2001


Reminds me of Robert Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil. Not one of his better books, but it deals with this subject in an interesting way. The basic premise is that the brain of a grouchy old man is transplanted into the body of a perky young woman and, in Heinlein's usual way, explores all of the "what ifs."
posted by NsJen at 5:07 PM on April 6, 2001


Open University..

Along with the NHS, the OU has to be post war Britain's greatest achievement.
posted by summat at 3:17 AM on April 7, 2001


This brings to mind (no pun intended), the possibility of imortality. I know that sounds cheesy, but imagine if we could transplant brains into genetically matured bodies? If we could grow/clone humans and then put a pre-experienced brain in there instead of taking the cryogenically frozen route (which could take decades to figure out). If not, then it would be a great premise for a novel.
posted by samsara at 11:41 AM on April 9, 2001


If not, then it would be a great premise for a novel.

It was part of the plot of a She-Hulk comic book, does that count? She was captured by these weird little aliens whose minds survived after death and were then transplanted into new bodies via some sort of psychic ability. They didn't look like monkeys, though...
posted by crushed at 11:54 AM on April 9, 2001


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